Friday, December 14, 2007

What will Gordon be praying for this Christmas?

Todays newspapers are yet more very grim reading for the beleaguered PM.

In one fell swoop is antics in Europe yesterday have completely alienated both sides of the European debate.

Anti-Europe campaigners and newspapers like the SUN are angry because he has gone ahead and signed the new Treaty without the promised referendum; but pro-Europeans are now also livid because of the cowardly manner in which Brown failed to turn up for the official signing ceremony, instead arriving later in the day for a low-key affair on his own. This was as graphic a demonstration of our debilitating half-in and half-out attitude to the EU as one could imagine.

But the bad news doesn't stop there. Questions are today being asked about two very important events this summer that the new Prime Minister has used as 'foundation stones' for his new administrations purported competence; dealing with the floods and the foot and mouth outbreak.

1) The Audit Commission has criticised the Government for it's response to the summer floods, saying said the way the funds were allocated had not been well thought-out. The commission warned the unpredictability of the government's response meant people were likely to be left either exposed by councils that under-insure, or out of pocket by those that insure unnecessarily.

2) The Institute of Animal Health research has concluded that the second foot and mouth outbreak was a a direct consequence of the Government failing to effectively contain the first one.

All through the Autumn the Labour spin machine has been telling us how well Brown had coped with 'issues' like these now we have independent proof that this was simply not true.

And last but by no means least we also have evidence that far from being neatly resolved by a sale to the Virgin Group, the Northern Rock crisis may be getting worse, with stories emerging of the bidders being unable to fund their takeover plans. The crisis may only eventually be sorted out by full nationalisation of the bank with the taxpayer forking out many more tens of billions of pounds and being 'in hock' for decades.

I'd have thought the one thing Gordon Brown will want this Hogmanay is some hope of good news, from somewhere, about something, for 2008.

No comments: